Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 29 September 2020

Turkish and Russian officials to meet in Ankara for talks on Syria and Libya

The two countries back opposing sides in both conflicts

Armed forces allied to Libya's UN-backed government fight militias in Tripoli on September 22, 2018. Reuters
Armed forces allied to Libya's UN-backed government fight militias in Tripoli on September 22, 2018. Reuters

Turkish and Russian officials will meet in Ankara this week for talks on developments in Syria and Libya, where the two countries back opposing sides, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

“Consultations between Turkish and Russian inter-agency delegations on Libya and Syria will continue at a technical level on September 15-16, 2020, in Ankara,” the ministry said.

Ankara and Moscow are the main power brokers in Libya’s war and have been holding talks on a lasting ceasefire and political settlement.

Russia supports the eastern-based forces of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, while Turkey has helped the Government of National Accord and the militias it employs to fight his Libyan National Army.

Turkey's assistance, including weapons, troops and Syrian mercenaries, has been widely condemned by the international community.

Last month, the GNA declared a ceasefire in Libya and called for a blockade on oil plants to be lifted.

Aguila Saleh, President of the rival House of Representatives in the east, also called for a halt to hostilities.

Ankara and Moscow also back opposing sides in Syria.

Russia supports President Bashar Al Assad’s forces and Turkey backs rebels seeking to remove him.

After an escalation of violence displaced nearly 1 million people and brought the two sides close to confrontation, Turkey and Russia agreed in March to halt hostilities.

Both sides have said the ceasefire has held despite minor breaches.

The last round of talks was held in Moscow on August 31 and September 1.

Updated: September 15, 2020 12:15 AM

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